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French revolution, or with the late events in the Pertinsulas, has been transferred to America, where the dispute is still kept up, more perhaps than is generally supposed, for the same object, which, thirty years ago, led the armies of Europe into the plains of Fleurus and Gemappe.
In fact, every thing has changed during the last ten years : previous to this, the question was plain and distinct; America would have been contented to obtain her independence, or perhaps even, merely to alter the plenitude of that authority exercised over her by Spain; but at present, she aims at shaking off her entire European dependence; she looks forward to a cessation of the colonial system, and combats for principles of universal sociability; so that from this conflict of numerous diverse interests, and almost of one world against another, arise daily a multitude of facts, each one of which might supply ample scope for a separate treatise.
And yet, strange to be said, there does not exist a single periodical work calculated to enlighten Europe on the course of a revolution which so deeply interests it; nor even to lay before America herself, the advantages or disadvantages of her situation. In short, the lot of half of the human race is discussed in the two hemispheres, without either of them being informed of the result, otherwise than by vague, Atardy, and oftentimes illusory means.
It is to fill up this important chasm in the political world, that the American Monitor is destined. The editors of this new publication will not here make a pompous display of the means which they possess to traverse the immense career that presents itself before them; they do not intend to enter into long protestations,
nor to flatter their readers with those brilliant expectations which accompany the numberless and ephemeral productions daily brought forth. But, confident of the purity of their intentions, and persuaded, moreover, that public opinion is always equitable, they expect from time a more lasting favor than that which opinion sometimes grants to the art of prefaces and the seduction of promises. They may, however, assure their readers, that if their talents are not equal to the undertaking which their zeal has imposed on them, they will redeem the inferiority of their abilities by the advantages of the position in which they find themselves placed; a position which enables them to examine an infinite number of local and personal questions, which, in theactual state of things, would be perhaps inaccessible to the generality of writers. They will, likewise, add that, by calling public attention to the examination of those circumstances, which form the principal features of the American revolution, all their endeavours will tend to disentangle, without acrimony, truth from falsehood, without giving themselves up to malevolent or even useless reflections on anterior events, or on individuals who are not immediately connected with the principal subject on which they intend to treat. In short, they propose to prescribe to themselves a course of proceeding, diametrically opposite to that of gazetteers in general, who, amusing themselves in daily decomposing and remodelling thegeneral system of the New World, and enlarging or diminishing, according to their caprice, the destiny which they are pleased to assign to this or that state or individual, only exasperate the passions, and supply them with fresh fuel.
Placed at a distance from the scene of contest, and
in a land, which morally speaking, may be termed neutral, the editors of the American Monitor will consider the passions that are in immediate action, only as the necessary results of a long series of events; they will free their discussion from every thing that can tend to increase resentment or self-love; they will consider ambition apart from the numerous motives, which mislead or pervert it; in short, they will endeavour, as far as may lie in their power, to throw a light on the field of dispute, which may serve to guide the contenders, and make them sensible that, by neglecting to trace the origin of those operations which influence them, they are incessantly miscalculating the means to remedy the evils that oppress them; and that whether conquerors, or conquered oppressors or oppressed, they are equally the dupes of the ignorance of their real interests.
Whatever may be the final result of the contest in which the southern continent of America is actually engaged, it cannot be denied, that in no instance of anterior revolutions, more undetermined, discordant, and precarious measures were ever adopted. In order to discover the primary causes of this transitory confusion; in order to be able to trace those causes from their origin and in their progress, it is necessary to refer back to that period in history, when the war of independence broke out on the shores of the Oronoco, between Spain and America, that we may judge of those events which are now. passing before our view.
On a brief survey of the capital points' connected with this vast political scale, the editors of the Monitor will now lay before their readers, an exact idea of the political doctrines which they intend to bring into the discussion of all the facts and elements composing the grand system of the American revolution ; elements, however, of which they can only give a slight sketch, in this first essay of their undertaking.
For the sake of order and precision in the examination of the various subjects that enter into the immense prospect that opens to their view, they will confine themselves, for the present, to the consideration of South America, under the three following points, to the development of which the succeeding numbers of the Monitor will be dedicated. -;? 1. The recent and real causes that have brought on the emancipation of all the southern continent of America, and its present and future relations with North America and Europe. 7.2. The different states of South America, considered in their relations with each other, as also with the empire of Brasil.
3. The examination of their interior situation, and of the government most suitable to secure their political existence, and promote their new social wants.
After treating on these primordial points, they propose to examine those questions of national prosperity on which, at the present time, chiefly depends the whole destiny 'of a state, namely, the power of money, the power of the sword, the power of a good political system, and the power of opinion. When these last points shall have been examined, the editors will complete their plan, by giving a few biographiVol. I: No. 1,
cal sketches of the political characters of those men who shall have acted the most prominent parts on the political stage.
Ist. POINT. THE REAL CAUSES THAT HAVE
ON THE EMANCIPATION OF THE SOUTHERN CONTINENT OF AMERICA.—THE PRESENT AND FUTURE RELATIONS OF THIS CONTINENT WITH NORTH AMERICA AND
To bring this first question under its real nature, it is not necessary to examine it in its full extent;
it suffices to refer to the commencement of the present century, in order to be convinced that although a number of secondary causes may, for a long time previous, have contributed to rouse the American population, yet the most active agent that goaded them on to the point which they have now gained, is incontestably the senseless tyranny with which the Spanish government made them feel the weight of its power and pride ; and not any influential causes from abstract theories, which, for the last half century, have so constantly agitated the Old and a part of the New World.
In fact, did South America, in 1809, require any other stimulus than her actual sufferings, to induce. her to wish for the destruction of the colonial system, which chained her down to the Spanish
Was any other cause requisite, to compel her to shake off the yoke, than the view of the iniquities of which she was the victim, and the reasonable conviction that any change could not create a more deplorable state of things than that in which she